When it comes to event planning, gone are the days when you could get by with a series of spreadsheets and sparse documents kept together in a binder. Event management in 2018 has a strong interactive nature and all the parts involved (organizers, partners, and the attendees themselves) need to stay connected at all times. There are a lot of event planning online tools available, but when the choice is so vast, how can we know we select the right one for the needs of our event?
Event management platforms sometimes have so many features that it becomes a challenge to choose the right one that offers a balance between essential functions and cost. There are some essential attributes that we think you should look for when you select your event planning online tools. Here they are below.
Guests are at the very core of any event and this is why we start our list with them. The event management platform you choose must have a well designed guest management system. And this means both pre-event, and on-site. Here we include essential functions such as guest list management, waiting lists, and guest check-in. A fast check-in process is the one thing that helps you make sure your guests start having an amazing experience from the moment they set foot at your event.
Most event organizers first approach event planning online tools because they are in need of a ticketing system. This makes ticketing the most used feature in online event management platforms. When choosing your platform, make sure the ticketing system is easy to use for guests. It should accept all major credit cards, offer safe transactions, and allow you, as a host, to set up multiple ticket types. Being able to set up discount codes is also a feature that sets out a good ticketing system from the mass. Moreover, a platform that allows you not only to sell fixed price tickets but also to collect open donations and sell merchandising related to the event, would be a winning choice.
Cross-site and social media integration
Your event management platform should blend well with other elements of your online presence. This is why, being able to import an event from Facebook, for example, is an important feature. Being able to embed your event ticket on other websites (your corporate site, or the event partners’ sites) is also desirable.
Most online event planning platforms include an event web page. The quality of this page should be at the center of your web marketing efforts. The web page should be easy to personalize with your brand elements and should contain all information that guests and potential guests need to know about the event. An efficient emailing system is also essential for creating powerful marketing campaigns for your event. Even features like badge creation can become event marketing tools, especially when you can customize the badge with logos and personalized text.
Stats and reporting
Being able to measure the success of your event should be among your priorities, and a good event management platform should allow you to do that. Being able to see ticket sales in real time is the obvious requirement. Things like viewing the number of times people accessed your event page or the number of email invitations that were open, are also important. Allowing checked-in quests to post on your event page is also a great tool for reporting. You and other stakeholders (such as sponsors) can take the pulse of what happened at the event, through the eyes of your attendees.
A mobile interface
Both event planners and guests are nowadays always on the go. Event planning in itself is a dynamic job (constantly running around between meetings with suppliers, does this sound familiar?) and most online content is consumed on smartphones, so a platform that is fully responsive for mobile use is essential.
Cost and flexibility
Choose a platform that offers as many useful features as possible, without becoming a burden for your monthly budget. Most services charge on a commission base (from ticket price) so shop around and see which one offers what you need within the cost you’re willing to allocate. When we say flexibility, we mean you should also be able to switch between various subscription options based on your needs for a particular event. And last but not least, the most convenient platform is the one that allows you access to your ticket sale funds right away. This way you can start using the money in your planning process as soon as the first guests purchase their tickets.
Of course, we couldn’t conclude our article without mentioning that if you choose Metooo as your online event management platform, you have all the above specified features, plus some more. You can, for example, issue invoices for sold tickets, or create private events that can be accessed only by who you give access to.
At the end of the day, one thing is for sure. In 2018, your event needs to connect with the World from the very first stages of its planning process, so an online platform is fundamental. And what matters when choosing from the several online event planning tools out there, is to pick the one that makes your work easier. Choosing the right platform will increase your appeal and reputation as an event planner. It will create a better perception of the quality of your work from event guests and clients, and will make you more money in the long run.